Javier Fernández Contreras (Granada, 1982) is a Geneva-based architect, architectural theorist, and the head of the Department of Space Design / Interior Architecture at HEAD – Genève. His work explores the relationship between architecture, representation, and media, with a specific focus on the role of interiors in the construction of contemporaneity. Contreras holds a master’s degree in Architecture and a PhD in Architectural Theory (summa cum laude) from ETSAM at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. In 2015, he was a finalist in the 10th arquia/tesis competition with his doctoral dissertation The Miralles Projection, a seminal research on the use of orthographic projections in the architecture of Enric Miralles.

Contreras is the director of several BA, MA and research programs, including: MAIA (Master of Arts in Interior Architecture), Switzerland’s first MA program in the field, which explores contemporary interiors at the intersection of space, ecology, and media; Scènes de Nuit, a research platform that investigates the entanglements between night and architecture; The Interiors of Social Media, a project that examines the integration of digital media, technology, and architecture in shaping social interactions and spatial experiences; and The Future of Humanitarian Design (HUD), a program that explores how space design and political science can jointly address the increasing challenges in humanitarian action (in collaboration with the Geneva Graduate Institute and the University of Copenhagen), which is supported by SNSF Sinergia, Switzerland’s most prestigious research funding scheme.

Contreras is the president of the Jury for the 2024 FAD Awards (Thought and Criticism category), Spain and Portugal’s most important prize for architectural theory. He is the author of the books The Miralles Projection (AR+D, 2020), and Manifesto of Interiors: Thinking in the Expanded Media (HEAD – Publishing, 2021; Puente Editores, 2022), which was selected at the XVI BEAU (Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism). He is the co-editor of Scènes de Nuit: Night & Architecture (Ediciones Asimétricas, 2021), Intimacy Exposed: Toilet, Bathroom, Restroom (Spector Books, 2023), and A Nocturnal History of Architecture (Spector Books, 2024). His essays and projects have been published in a variety of books and journals, including Massilia Annuaire des Études Corbuséennes, Monocle, PLOT, Marie-José Van Hee Architecten, Burning Farm, Superposition, India Mahdavi, Drawing Matter, Bitácora, Chrysalis: The Butterfly Dreamand RADDAR.

His work has earned him prizes in various international competitions, including the Concentrico Architecture and Design Festival with Prismarium (2020), a project that transformed the visual perception of the festival’s pavilion in Logroño; and the curatorial competition for F’AR, forum d’architectures in Lausanne, with the exhibition Scènes de Nuit (2019). With HEAD – Genève, recent projects include 2084: A Diorama of the Future (2024), an architectural performance on the challenges of the post-Anthropocene era, which was presented at Alcova for the 2024 Milan Design Week; Playing Fields (2022), a collaboration with the European Heritage Days and Servette Football Club that won the 2023 FRAME Award (Set Design of the Year); Space Duality (2019), a collaboration with the USM Foundation on the future of virtual reality, which in 2020 won the Red Dot Award (Brands and Communication) and the FRAME Award (Innovation category); and #Looslab (2018), a reinterpretation of Adolf Loos’s American Bar which was nominated for the Design Prize Switzerland in 2019.